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Brad Jones is Actually Quite Good

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With Pepe Reina having recently experienced something of a renaissance, most of us found his late omission from the Spurs game jarringly disconcerting. Brad Jones, however, once again deputised quite capably for our Spanish number one.

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Scott Heavey

After forty eight hours of enduring a migraine, you start to see the world differently, through a kind of fug. I just reached that mark a short time ago. The entire experience of the victory over Spurs was refracted through a prism of blinding pain and disorientation but the experience was not aided by the news that came before kick-off.

As I scrolled through my Twitter feed in the build up to the game I discovered that Pepe Reina would miss out with a calf strain. Reina has been the subject of some debate of late, but most had been pleased by the Spaniard's return to form. He is a leader in this squad and the thought of the North Londoners attacking our goal without him was enough to make me even more bilious.

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Brad Jones walked out at Anfield instead, besporting the most immaculately coiffured hair in Western Europe, hair which made all around him look pitiful by comparison. Even Daniel Agger's faux-hawk wilted in the presence of its magnificence.

Jones has now played eighteen times for Liverpool Football Club and his record is very, very good, with ten wins, four draws and four defeats since making his debut in September 2010. Yet in many fans' eyes, the Australian remains a figure invested with little confidence - his performances always criticised and his status often lazily deemed 'dodgy.'

Maybe it's the migraine talking, but I have a lot of time for Jones. He's a rare breed of footballer. The type that can be called on sporadically, without fuss or whinging, and trusted to be competent and professional. That Jones is a lovely guy, who has had some dreadful personal grief to contend with only endears him further.

However, when Gareth Bale's free kick was clawed away in such unorthodox and apparently nervy fashion at the start of the game, I could feel my faith wavering. Successive replays showed that the ball was moving as if controlled by some devil-magic and Jones' improvised parry was actually an excellent piece of goalkeeping.

Speaking to liverpoolfc.com, the Antipodean said, "we've all seen how Bale hits the free-kicks, you've got to be aware of that. Fortunately, Stevie tends to do that as well so you get a few in training. It was a case of trying to be steady and doing the best job you can."

Jones conceded two at Anfield, neither of which he could be faulted for. He was solid and produced, as he always does, one or two fine stops. In fact, on yet another day of defensive buffoonery, the thirty year old's form was excellent.

Today, he became the latest voice to add to the 'one game at a time' chorus that was sadly missing for too long. "There's a real focus, we want to win every game at the moment. We want to win as many as we can and not lose any. We're on a good run and we want to continue that."

Such observations may be blatantly obvious and willfully old-fashioned but that is exactly what is needed at Liverpool Football Club right now, and from the start of next season.